LSM Newswire

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

World Première of One-Woman Cabaret

World Première of Carolyn Guillet's One-Woman Cabaret

Plucked, Hammered and Strung


How many poems, songs, films and plays have been written about love and yet we never tire of the subject in all its mystery. This fall Inifnithéâtre explores the topic, from two very different perspectives, both of them female. Running concurrently for two weekends at the Bain St-Michel with Carole Fréchette's John and Béatrice, is the world première of Carolyn Guillet's one-woman cabaret, Plucked, Hammered and Strung.


A woman, a piano, and five lovers. Six obsessive love songs. Nine dying fathers and a forgotten spouse or two. A theatrical performance event full of passion, lamentation and frivolity. Themes of yearning, absurdity and insanity are played out to the tune of Chopin's Funeral March and Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. This is Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera meeting Aeschylus' Electra; a cross between Peggy Lee and Mozart improvising "Variations on the Theme of Love".


Juxtaposed with Fréchette's mythic fairytale, Guillet plays it close to the bone with this semi-autobiographical (or is it?) rendering of all the "first loves" of her life…so far. The piano, her closest confidante throughout, plays a major role in her life and the piece, as Carolyn weaves original songs as well as pop ballads and a few choice classical piano solos into the storyline. In an attempt to deal with the death of her father and the subsequent muddy resurgence of all her dead affairs, Guillet takes the audience though a labyrinth of fantasy and reality; funny, dark, brutal and touching. Dovetailing perfectly with the other two themes of Infinite's 2008 – 09 season, 'Hope' and 'Faith', Plucked, Hammered and Strung is a story of eternal renewal.


Regarding the issue of semi-autobiographical material, Guillet, the writer admits, "I steal things. And then I lie. I 'use' the truth, twist it just enough to make it entirely believable." However, Guillet, the actor, felt a little over exposed. "I thought the character was a little too close to the real me. But as the work developed, the characters multiplied and I got all these different names to play with, like different hats in a costume box. Every time she [the character] sits down at the piano, she's someone else…or a slightly different version of herself. I have to fall in love over and over…discover the pleasures of sex over and over again, as if for the first time."


Guillet, who is working on a sequel to her first original script, Seventeen [Anonymous] Women, entitled Seventeen [Particular] Men asked Diana Fajrajsl to dramaturge the work as she developed it through a CALQ grant. "Diana was indispensable. She kept me at it, kept me laughing, got me out of the mud and into a place of wit, clarity and elegance." Arianna Bardesono, an NTS graduate having just come off her successful directorship of Repercussion Theatre's The Tempest, is directing. Bardesono had attended a reading of Plucked at Playwright's Workshop Montreal and when she and Guillet met last summer at an international master class for directors in Ottawa, they hit it off.


OF SPECIAL NOTE: "Strung Out on Sushi" - an additional fundraising performance of Plucked, Hammered and Strung will be held on Monday, November 10th to raise money to support Infinithéâtre's ongoing mandate to discover, develop and produce Québecois writers. Sushi dinner at 6:00 PM with the performance following. For those enticed by the play AND keen to support local theatre, this is the perfect combo! Call Infinithéâtre for more info at (514) 987 – 1774.

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